'G'day!' My name is Annabel and I am here to assist Deb to talk about multiculturalism and diversity. I have some other friends who can join the mob and help too!
Mia and Grand Dad
Granddad tells me one of the things he loves about Aussie Culture is the diversity of international foods we can now enjoy because people have travelled from all nations to call Australia home. He said Australia was once known as 'the lucky country' where everyone got a fair go, but lately here's no too sure.
According Granddad unless your an indigenous Australia you heritage (where your ancestries come from) is another culture. Which is a bit sad when you think the culture of the First Australians is only just being recognised. Deb has a friend who is a first Australian an he is also an artist living with disability.
Nick grew up with his mum who is of European descent. When Nick's adopted dad introduced him to Deb she quickly discovered Nick had many art journals in his backpack which he carried everywhere. So Deb began meeting with him to do art and some other things too!
Not long after that Nick discovered his indigenous heritage and began using significant images and symbols from his culture into his artwork. Nick told Deb he couldn't be an artist because he is unable to read or write. Deb assured him that he needed neither of these skills to create great artwork.
So Deb gathered some of the mob around and organised a few artwork shops where artists like Nick could learn new skills. Eventually they were involved in a collaborative art exhibition.
So of the tutors was Deb's friend Judith, who also has a disability. Deb asked Judy 'how she thought her disability impacted on her art practise? Her answer,
"Once my artwork is hanging on art gallery wall, my disability becomes invisible."
Deb's Friend Judy
Since then Deb has worked with many artist with different cultural backgrounds, customs and belief's. All are theses are different but add to the fabric of life.
Silvia has a Spanish background and my friend Sarah has African back ground.
Different cultures have had different influences on visual art over the centuries, including our First Australians. Not sure if you've seen the bright colours some current indigenous artists are now using.
As result of culture influences from around the world we have embraced as our own. Their customers, beliefs and traditions, like Halloween which we will be celebrating at the end of the month.
Sadly not everyone in Australian embraces multiculturalism and the customers and beliefs of other nationalities.
Europeans first came to Australia in 1788, unless you stem from Indigenous decent, then your heritage is from somewhere other than Australia. Greece, the UK, Turkey, USA and Indonesia. Our descendants brought their family traditions and recipes with them.
However at a Aussie barque on a hot summer's day sometimes those cultures and belief's boil and Aussie pride gives way to heritage bigotry. On occasions when drinking is the customers tensions build, egos emerge and violence erupts. When working towards understanding to assist with building social inclusion then in no room for egos.
Inclusion is built on a place of mutual respect and understanding, Sometimes we have been misinformed about those who look different to us and we jump to conclusions. Like the quality of artwork, artists with disabilities can produce.
Deb want's me and my friends to challenge your thoughts by providing you with a platform for discussion about diversity and inclusion. That's why she thinks The Melting Pot could be a great name for her exhibition.